Frost ko’s Honiton/Feniton derby
PUBLISHED: 12:42 01 February 2011
SEATON Town suffered a second successive away defeat to allow the chasing pack to close in further on them at the summit of the Devon and Exeter League, Premier Division, table.
Town were beaten 4-2 by an Alphington side that had begun the day sitting in the bottom three of the table.
Josh French and a penalty from Brad Groves was all Town had to show for their trip into Exeter, but boss Josh Stunell was upbeat about his side’s defeat saying: “We did not play well and, no matter who the opposition, this is the highest level of local football and there’s no such thing as an easy game.
“It’s fair to say we were off colour and this defeat means we have let slip a healthy lead. However, it is most certainly not a case of the wheels coming off as there is far too much quality in the dressing room here. One thing I would say, though, is that as a result of back-to-back away defeats, it is perhaps time to make a change or two and that’s what I’ll do next time out.”
That next game is at Colyford Road on Saturday with Wellington providing the opposition. With Cameron Vere on County duty it means one change for sure, however, as the Town boss says: “We have the squad to be able to freshen things up, and that is what we will do.”
Beer Albion were once again beaten by the weather with their visit to Heavitree Social United falling foul of a frozen Exeter pitch.
The Fishermen were hoping to bounce back from last midweek’s single goal defeat at Willand Rovers Reserves where they were beaten by a goal scored by one of four Toolstation league Premier Division players who were in the home side.
Dean Stamp, who had three days earlier played for Rovers in an FA Vase at Dunstable, scored the only goal of the game and Fishermen’s boss Mark Ward was rightly very proud of the performance put in by his side against such a strong opposition. This weekend Beer host Thorverton, who beat them 3-1 when the sides met in Mid Devon in late September.
The much anticipated local derby between Feniton and Honiton Town was another to be hit by frost with Acland Park unfit to stage the game. It was probably the visitors who were the most disappointed about the cancellation as they were looking to build on their recent good form that had seen them draw with the top two sides in Division One.
Town will hope for better luck with the weather this weekend when they entertain bottom of the table Elmore and a home win is vital if Town are to mount a second half of the campaign revival mission.
Colyton were denied action by a frost-bound North Tawton pitch and they have played just twice since the end of November! Colyton are still two games shy of completing the first half of their Division Two programme. This weekend they will hope for better weather fortunes when they head to Culm United’s Madgelake home.
Upottery saw action and delivered the goods as well as they beat visiting Countess Wear Dynamos 3-1. A free-kick from Bruce Leaman fired the villagers ahead and it was 2-0 when Thomas Wyatt, back in the fold after his travelling in Australia, headed home at the near post.
Catalan Pislaru struck the third after the break, his second goal in as many games and, despite a late strike from the visitors, Upottery were not to be denied a sixth success of the season.
Boss Dan Prettejohn said: “It’s a relief to get the win after three without success. We deserved it and Catalan (Pislaru), in particular, deserved to be on the winning side. We played with impressive confidence and I shall be looking to see some consistency of this sort of performance over the coming weeks.”
Upottery are up to sixth in the table and, with just one defeat in eight home games so far and four of their next six games also being at home, this may well not be the end of their rise up the Division Three table. On Saturday Prettejohn’s side host Lympstone.
Offwell Rangers moved to within three points of a Division Three promotion berth with a 4-1 win at Sandford and what made the result even more impressive was that it was only the second time this term that the Mid Devon outfit have been beaten.
A fine cross from young winger Ben Fullick was tucked away by Louis Grant but the hosts levelled to send the sides into the break at 1-1. Fullick and Grant combined to put Rangers back into the lead and Jamie Doidge made it 3-1 before Grant finished what he started, applying a polished finish to a pass from Scott Phillips to secure his hat-trick and complete the scoring. Treble man Grant was named Man of the Match. Rangers are unbeaten since a November 13 defeat to Upottery and five successive victories have pushed them up the table. On Saturday they will bid to make it six on the spin when they host Dawlish.
Seaton Town Reserves were edged out by the odd goal in five by visiting Bickleigh. It was only the second home defeat of the season for Town, who lost a great chance to move within two points of a Division Four promotion place had they banked the points. On Saturday, Town travel to Colaton Raleigh.
In Division Five Dunkeswell Rovers were frost-bound, as were Beer Albion Reserves. This weekend Ross Morton’s men travel to Cullompton Rangers Thirds.
Axmouth United opened a five point lead at the summit of Division Six with a hard-earned 2-1 victory over Cheriton Fitzpaine. The nearest challengers to United now are Clyst Valley Thirds, who racked up an amazing 22-0 score line against a Silverton side who could only field eight players for the game!
United thought they had taken the lead when Ashley Poynton’s cross was headed home by Asa Sandman, only to be chalked off by a linesman’s flag.
After a blank first half it was United who struck just four minutes after the re-start when Sam Bastin provided the assist and Jamie Hughes the finish to give the hosts the lead.
Two minutes later the lead was doubled as Stuart Aykroyd collected the ball just inside the Cherries half and, with a great turn of pace, drifted past three defenders, before cutting into the box, and, from a tight angle, slid the ball past the keeper.
Andrew Smart made a superb save to deny the Mid Devon side a way back into the game, but he was powerless to prevent them notching late in the contest and they so nearly bagged a second and would have snatched a draw, but for an outstanding last minute save by Smart.
United boss Laurie Forino said: “Although not showing the fluency and finishing of the previous week, this was still a good team performance against a decent Cheriton side that are certainly better than their league placing suggests.
“There’s plenty of positives again to take from the game for the home side and Charlie Sweetland earned Man of the Match honours”.
There is no game this weekend for Forino’s men, who are next in league action on February 12 when they go to UAU Exeter and the week after comes the big one – the visit of all conquering Exmouth Town Reserves.
Awliscombe United were left kicking their heels owing to another frozen Exeter pitch. This weekend the Awls, who find themselves down in sixth spot in the table, complete the first half of their season with a home game against Culm United Reserves.
Honiton Town reserves were also without action last weekend owing to a frozen surface, this weekend they travel to Uplowman.
In Division Eight, Feniton Thirds dished up a nap hand win to defeat hosts Colyton. Next up for the Blues is an Acland Park game against Otterton whilst for Colyton, this weekend they host Tipton St John.
In the Carlisle Cup there is just the one preliminary round game this season with Woodbury visiting Kentisbeare. The winners will then travel to Beer Albion on March 6.
In the other quarter final ties, Feniton go to East Budleigh on March 13, Axmouth United hostAFC Sidford on March 20 and Seaton Town make the trip to Colaton Raleigh on the final Sunday of March.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Midweek Herald. Click the link in the orange box above for details.